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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Broken Yolk may consider name change in face of lawsuit
Old Broken Yolk. Photo by Daniel Alfonzo/[email protected]

Jim Gatto, owner of the Broken Yolk restaurants on Marquette’s campus, met with his attorneys Friday afternoon to discuss plans for combating a potential lawsuit from the Broken Yolk Cafe, a restaurant chain located in California.

The Tribune originally reported Nov. 27 the Milwaukee-based Broken Yolk may face a suit from the California-based restaurant over trademark and naming rights.

Gatto said he is not trying to compete with fellow restaurants on a national level and he won’t rule out changing the name if it is the only way to save his restaurant from the suit.

“We’re a tiny little outlet in the Midwest,” Gatto said. “I’ll turn around and change the name to the Broken Egg. If I change the name to ‘Bro Yo at Campustown,’ it’s identifiable to us here at Marquette and people across the country would have no idea what it is, and that’s OK with me.”

Gatto said he and his lawyers communicated with the Broken Yolk Cafe and are waiting for a response before making any further decisions. He said he is hopeful that this won’t be an issue.

“At this point, I just hope we’re allowed to keep the name, or I’ll make some adjustments that will make it easy to change without being disturbed,” Gatto said.

Gatto’s wife, Caroline, said she had not heard back from the attorneys since Friday’s meeting, but told the California chain their restaurants’ names are not similar.

“We’ve responded once and what I said was we don’t even have the same name,” Caroline Gatto said. “We’re not the Broken Yolk Cafe. Our trademark name is the Broken Yolk Restaurant and Sandwich Shoppe.”

Caroline Gatto said her restaurants were not the only ones with potential lawsuits with the California Broken Yolk, which has 11 different locations scattered throughout the state.

“I’ve gotten other calls from people around the country and they’re doing this to other people as well,” Caroline Gatto said. “Somebody from New Hampshire called me, so we aren’t the only people.”

Marquette’s Broken Yolk restaurants, which each seat 35-40 people and serves just breakfast and lunch, would be going up against the large California restaurant chain which seats more than 300 people and serves three courses a day, Caroline Gatto said.

“They’re a big entity,” she said. “So why are you worried about a little fish in the pond? I don’t know why this is such a nemesis for them.”

In terms of changing the name, Caroline Gatto said she and her husband have not considered changing the name of their restaurants up to this point, but said they may have to eventually.

“I feel strongly that we don’t have the same name, I just don’t know the technicality of how many words in a sentence you can’t use because somebody else has trademarked it,” Caroline Gatto said. “We have not considered changing the name, but I guess at some point you have to.”

Jim Gatto said he expects to hear back from the Broken Yolk Cafe and his lawyers later this week and will act accordingly, depending on how the California chain decides to move forward.

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